New requirements for phase I trials: a challenge for Italian clinical research



In 2015, the Italian Medicines Agency (Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco; AIFA) issued the Determination 809/2015 with new requirements for phase I clinical trials. Before it came into force, we explored the extent to which several Italian oncology centers were working to implement it.


A survey was conducted among 80 Italian centers involved in clinical trials. Investigators and research coordinators were surveyed.


Answers from 42 institutions were collected: among them 88.1% were involved in oncology research. In the last 5 years, 55% had conducted from 1 to 5 phase I trials, and only 16.7% more than 5. A third were involved in not-first-in-human research and none with healthy volunteers. The majority (57.1%) of the centers did not run any projects and trials are non-commercial, and about 35%, no more than 2. While 9.5% already met the standards for self-certification, 71.4% were working to achieve them. Standard operating procedures dedicated to research and the required good clinical practice training had been established by 57.1% and 76.2%, respectively. Fifty percent of laboratories were almost compliant with the Determination. After 10 months from its coming into force, 98 sites had applied for certification, of which 34 were oncology units.


The new AIFA Determination imposes a certified organizational model on units and laboratories involved in phase I trials. Our results showed that great efforts were made to qualify for phase I research suggesting that other oncology units will apply for certification in the near future. Predictably, Italy will set the pace as a highly qualified country in which to conduct early-phase research.

Post author correction




Emanuela Marchesi, Manuela Monti, Oriana Nanni, Lisette Bassi, Martina Piccinni-Leopardi, Celeste Cagnazzo

Article History


Financial support: No grants or funding have been received for this study.
Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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  •  Scientific Direction, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, Bologna - Italy
  •  Italian Sarcoma Group, Bologna - Italy
  •  Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola (Forlì-Cesena) - Italy
  •  Clinical Research Office, Candiolo Cancer Institute-FPO, IRCCS, Candiolo (Turin) - Italy
  •  Chemotherapy Unit, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, Bologna - Italy

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